Anil Ambani to move Supreme Court

The legal battle over the KG Basin gas intensified on Wednesday, with the Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Natural Resources Limited declaring its intention to approach the Supreme Court to seek a final hearing on September 1.

Reliance Natural Resources Limited served notice on Reliance Industries Limited and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry, conveying its intention to mention the matter before the court on Thursday.

The government is likely to amend its petition, seeking to make the Centre the main petitioner instead of the Petroleum Ministry. This decision is learnt to have been taken at a meeting chaired by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Law and Justice Minister Veerappa Moily and Petroleum Minister Murli Deora also attended.

Anand guilty of contempt in BMW case

The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court judgment convicting senior advocate R.K. Anand of contempt for attempting to influence the trial in the BMW hit-and-run case.

A Bench consisting of Justices B.N. Agrawal, G.S. Singhvi and Aftab Alam, however, acquitted the then special public prosecutor, I.U. Khan. The High Court barred both lawyers from appearing in the court for four months and it held that they had forfeited their right to be designated as senior advocates.

The High Court recorded the conviction based on a programme ( sting operation) telecast by NDTV, in which Sunil Kulkarni was shown meeting Mr. Khan and Mr. Anand, then senior defence counsel, and negotiating his sellout in favour of defence for a very high price. The appeals by the lawyers were directed against this August 21, 2008 verdict.

HC stays GHMC poll process

The prospects of holding elections in the immediate future to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation virtually disappeared on Wednesday when the High Court stayed the issuance of the poll notification on the ground that the basis for determination of backward class voters was faulty and illegal.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Anil Ramesh Dave and Justice Ramesh Ranganathan restrained the authorities from issuing the notification till the issues of categorisation of BCs into A, B, C & D groups and the exclusion of creamy layer were addressed.

They were passing interim orders in a batch of writ petitions questioning the pre-election process like delimitation of wards and identification of the wards for various reserved categories. The government contended that the population figures of SC, ST and BC groups were compiled ward-wise and then reservation was arrived at

Allahabad HC stays petition challenging reservation in private engg colleges

The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court stayed the admission of a PIL challenging implementation of 50% reservation in private engineering colleges in Uttar Pradesh till September 3.

The Bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Rituraj Awasthi passed the order on a petition filed by Ajay Swaroop and others. The state government had also presented a decree in the case before the Bench on July 22.

The petitioner had said that the state government was interfering by issuing a decree against private technical colleges and other private education institutions in the state.

Three convicted of 2003 Mumbai blasts

A special POTA court convicted three persons of carrying out bomb blasts at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai on August 25, 2003, killing 52 people and injuring 184.

Judge M.R. Puranik announced that Haneef Sayyed and his wife Fahmeeda from Marol and Ashrat Ansari from Juhu Galli would be sentenced on August 4. The three were held guilty of carrying out a bomb blast in a bus at Ghatkopar on July 28, 2003, which killed two people and injured 60, and of planting a bomb, which however did not explode, in a bus in the Santa Cruz Electronics Export Processing Zone.
They were convicted under Sections 302, 307, 427 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code. They were also convicted under Sections 3 (damaging property) and 4 (damaging property by fire or explosive) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act; Sections 3 (causing an explosion to endanger life) and 4 (making an explosive to endanger life) of the Explosive Substances Act; and Sections 5 and 9B (licence for the use of explosives) of the Explosives Act.

The alleged mastermind of the blasts, who claimed to be a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative, had turned approver. The prosecution on Monday filed an application for his discharge from the case.

Action Against 353 Forest Mafia During 2009-10 in UP

The government is taking strict steps by effective laws to stop cutting of trees in forest areas and to curb forest mafia.Strict enforcement of the Indian Forests Act, 1927, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 enables prevention of cutting of trees and forest areas. In addition, the State Government of Uttar Pradesh has enacted Protection of Tree Act, 1976 to regulate felling of trees in rural areas. No new Central Act is presently being considered for enactment to prevent cutting of trees and forest areas.

The State Government of Uttar Pradesh has established two forest divisions in Pilibhit with about 225 officers and employees for providing protection to the forests and wildlife by enforcing the Acts as mentioned above. As reported, there are no lions and cheetah in the forests of Pilibhit. As per the wild animal census of 2007 there are about 36 tigers, 6 leopards and a variety of ungulates in the forests of Pilibhit.

The State Government of Uttar Pradesh, with the help of various provisions of the above mentioned Acts and with the help of the Indian Penal Code, the Gangster Act, the National Security Act, etc., has taken action against 353 forest mafia during the year 2009-10 in the State.

Minister of State for the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Independent charge) Shri Jairam Ramesh replied in a written question by Shri Ganga Charan in Rajya Sabha today.


Admission to BPL Students in Private and Public Schools

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009, inter alia, contains provisions that an unaided school, not receiving any kind of aid or grants to meet its expenses from the appropriate Government or the local authority, shall admit in class I, to the extent of at least twenty-five per cent of the strength of that class, children belonging to weaker sections and disadvantaged groups in the neighbourhood and provide them free and compulsory elementary education. The Bill further makes provisions regarding reimbursement of expenditure so incurred by such schools to the extent of the per child expenditure incurred by the State, or the actual amount charged from the child, whichever is less, subject to certain conditions. The aforesaid Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2009 is before the Parliament and the provision of 25% admission of poor students from the neighbourhood in such schools will come into effect after its enactment.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Human Resource Development Smt. D. Purandeswari, in a written reply to a question, in the Lok Sabha today.